Twelfth Night, or What You Will
‘What is love?’ asks Feste the clown in one of his songs. It is a very old question. One of the most influential answers to it comes from ancient Greece in the imaginary voice of the comic dramatist Aristophanes in Plato’s dialogue the Symposium. Love, says Aristophanes, is a quest, a journey in search of our lost other half.
Viola and her twin brother Sebastian have been shipwrecked off the coast of Illyria. Each believes that the other has been drowned.Viola disguises herself as a boy and, under the name of Cesario, enters the service of the duke Orsino.The duke sends Cesario to woo the lady Olivia on his behalf, but Olivia falls in love with the lovely ‘boy’.Viola/Cesario, meanwhile, has fallen in love with Orsino. and he too arrives in Illyria.Olivia meets Sebastian and, mistaking him for Cesario, arranges for them to be secretly married. Further confusion follows upon mistakes as to the identity of the twins.